February 16, 2017 Last Updated 11:53 am

Apple’s WWDC to return to San Jose, to delight and despair of developers

Apple held its developer conference in San Jose from 1988 to 2002, but that was before the event would sell out, and before the costs to hold events in the Bay Area became outrageous

There are some developers really happy today, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be held this year in San Jose rather than pricey San Francisco. There are also some developers really unhappy today, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be held this year in boring, somewhat expensive San Jose rather than glamorous San Francisco. I don’t go to WWDC, so whatever.

But Apple has done more than just move the event, it also announced it earlier, and that will also be helpful. Getting a hotel room in San Francisco really isn’t hard, it is a tourist destination, there are lots of rooms. Getting a decent room and a fair price, well, that is the challenge. On rare weekends were there are few events, one might get a discounted room at a good hotel (I stayed at the Intercontinental the last time in town and went to a Giants game, and my checking account lived to tell the tale).

San Jose is where the WWDC was held in its early days, before it became an event that needed to have a lottery system to attend. San Jose is closer to Cupertino, so it made sense. San Francisco is not technically in Silicon Valley, at least SF residents wouldn’t like to think of their city that way, but it is full of tech firms, nonetheless. It also is home to Moscone Center, which makes a great home for any large convention or trade show.

John Gruber describes well what those former events were like, and why moving WWDC to San Francisco was considered a good move:

The rap from my friends who did attend WWDC back when it was in San Jose is that San Jose was a bit of a sleepy town. It’s a work-oriented city, where it gets quiet after 5 pm. But WWDC was, compared to now, sparsely attended back then. WWDC didn’t sell out until 2008 (the first year of the iPhone App Store).

John is wrong about one thing, though: hotel rooms will not be cheaper.

Do a search on Expedia and you’ll see that the Hyatt now wants $399 for a night, Hotel De Anza wants $389.

Unlike SF, which can accommodate thousands of event attendees easily, rooms at good hotels will be at a premium. My recommendation: look further afield and rent a car. San Jose is easier to drive to and around than San Francisco.

Here is Apple’s announcement for WWDC:


CUPERTINO, California — February 16, 2017 — Apple today announced its 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — hosting the world’s most talented developer community — will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. The conference, kicking off June 5, will inspire developers from all walks of life to turn their passions into the next great innovations and apps that customers use every day across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.

Each year during WWDC, millions of talented developers around the world learn about Apple’s breakthrough platform technologies ranging from programming languages like Swift™ to breakthrough developer APIs like SiriKit™, HomeKit™, HealthKit™ and CarPlay®. These Apple technologies inspire developers to continue creating incredible experiences for every aspect of customers’ lives and improve the way they manage their smart homes, cars, health and more for over one billion active Apple devices.

Located just minutes from Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, WWDC 2017 will give developers access to more than 1,000 Apple engineers with opportunities to meet and engage with them throughout the conference.

The McEnery Convention Center will be the hub for thousands of attendees with great hotel, restaurant and entertainment options, all within walking distance. In addition to the keynote address, get-togethers, sessions and labs for developers, Apple is working with the city of San Jose and local businesses to celebrate the return of WWDC with very special experiences around San Jose throughout the week.

Developers will have the opportunity to apply for tickets this spring. The conference will be live-streamed through the Apple Developer website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) and on the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

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